Apparent carbon-monoxide poisoning killed one child and left seven other children hospitalized. They were found unconscious inside and around the indoor-pool area of a Michigan hotel on Saturday.
Carbon monoxide poisoning:
According to the Niles Police Department, the carbon-monoxide leak was caused by a broken pool heater.
Reporters were told by Fire Department Capt. Don Wise in Niles, Michigan that staff at the local Quality Inn and Suites found six children laying on the pool deck unresponsive and unconscious on Saturday. Immediately, the staff members opened the doors to the indoor-pool area and called 911.
It’s not clear how long the children, who range in age from about 12 to 14, were unconscious before they were found, according to Wise.
Wise said that when the first responders first went in with their air monitors, they went off, adding “All the responders took a little bit more risk, but we had to get those kids out of there and into fresh air for their best chance at survival.”
Then, according to the Niles Police Department, first responders then went through each floor of the hotel to evacuate any remaining visitors and staff.
A family member of the children alerted first responders to a seventh child in one of the first floor rooms who wasn’t breathing during the room-to-room evacuation. She had just come from the pool area where she had been with the other six children. The girl responded to the officers and she was able to walk outside to an ambulance, police said
Police said that the hotel had around 24 rooms booked at the time of the incident and all guests and staff were evacuated from the building. While the investigation is ongoing, the hotel has been closed for occupancy.
Six adults and nine children were transported from the scene to two area hospitals
According to Lakeland Hospital in Niles spokesperson, 13-year-old Bryan Douglas Watts was dead on arrival.
Dangerously high levels:
According to the fire captain, the highest carbon monoxide reading in the pool area was 800 parts per million, far above the 50 ppm maximum that the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends for workplace exposure eight hours per day, five days per week for a normal, healthy adult.
Officials also detected higher-than-normal carbon monoxide levels in other areas of the hotel, but not as dangerous as the level detected in the pool area.
The presence of a carbon monoxide detector in the hotel’s pool area is unclear.